Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | May 27, 2009

The Marriage, The Relationship

“Good morning” she says. I reply, “Good morning”. Here we are the passion absent. The problem hangs over us like a thunder cloud. I want to ask “Why are we here? What are we doing” but I don’t. We sleep at far corners of the bed or in separate rooms. The talk of bills is the first thing expressed in the morning. Spooning? no. Cuddling? no. On Monday I dreamed about my parents marital difficulties then awoke and wrote about something else. I thought L-O-V-E conquered all. Shouldn’t it?

I read tons of relationship books yet I am in the middle of this…Maybe I was off the mark and did not want to notice the problems a long time ago. Maybe signs were apparent before we got married and I should not have… Maybe I thought it would get better. Shit, we loved each other right?!? As I lay in bed memories of better days flash before my eyes accompanied by an array of emotions. I am left feeling numb…

I begin talking to elders. Seeking counsel is always good. It is revealed that their relationship is not perfect; filled with hardship, infidelity, periods of no passion, etc. I guess a 40 year old relationship is bound to have issues. Then I begin to hear stories of people having a wonderful relationship and at the 5, 10 or 15 year mark they start thinking of divorce. Some stay together and one or both are out having an affair as a way to fulfill that missing energy in their marriage. These affairs are not always sexual but frequent. Is this what you should do? People don’t talk about this but it is a reality for many. Women and men are seeking relationships outside their marriages. The more people I talk to the more the stories are the same. From religious leaders to teachers, men and women of varying spirituality and education are having marital issues.

So, I seek counsel from experts. As I meet these individuals I wonder, how can they give relationship advice when they are having their own problems? 🙂 I quickly realize the answer is within. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis came up with a formula that worked for them. Many of the folks that I talked to did the same. The fantasy of marriage was disappearing and the reality was setting in. The question is: What do I want for me?

What do I want for me? I humble myself daily thinking about things I need to work on to make me a better person. Maybe I suck at relationships…Maybe my mistakes created this reality…Maybe I am to blame…My mother always said if you point a finger, four are pointing back at you. My response was to point my whole hand. 🙂

So based on my research and counsel, I have to consider options. Work things out? I have talked and tried different ways of communicating my concerns. Infidelity? Well that creates more issues. Some have affairs and never tell their mates. They say the affair helps them with the marriage. Maybe it does, but what about the other person that develops feelings? They fantasize about a life with you that will never be because you are married. Open marriage? Hmmm, the questions keep coming. What about your vows? The concept of modern day marriage is new and we suck at it. Many alter those vows as they go through life. The only thing that stays true is for better or worse. It is quickly becoming until divorce do us part. Birth control changes the dynamics of modern day relationships. The bottom line: I have to be happy. She has to be happy. Are we happy? Do we want this to work? Was I taken for granted? Did I take her for granted? Is this the end?

Our energy levels are different. We work well together with some things and others not so much. Do I respect her career? Does she respect mine? There are so many factors to consider. What to do? How to proceed? She is not unkind…That is the next thing I learned when I spoke with elders. The problems are not always big. Some people just grow apart.

Some couples stay together for the kids, but the kids sense the divide. Some couples stay together for finances, convenience, social status, etc. Do I want to stay? Does she? Has it been over for years and we are just going through the motions? The questions keep coming. Have we lost our patience in relationships as a community that we no longer can deal with the trials and tribulations?

What do I want to do and how will I do it? Hmmm…balance my life that I may know and act right.

Is this story about you or someone you know?



  1. Very well written article again, Mr. Cyntje! lol @ response was to point the whole hand! 🙂

    This is a tough topic but one many people face regularly. IMHO, the point was made when you said Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis had to figure out what worked for them. That’s true – as a couple, you need to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. Not everyone’s marriage is the same (due to personalities and beliefs, etc.) so why should marriage be typed/stereotyped? So as not to ramble on, I will say that we all have to evaluate ourselves (be humbled as you mentioned), seek advice, be open and honest w/your mate and take it one day at a time. Remember to treat your mate as you would like to be treated. Too often, we’re more polite to friends and strangers than those we love because we take them for granted.

  2. Wow. That’s a mouthful. I’m single, but know friends that have experienced this same dilemma. Many of them took the higher ground and decided to be more aggressive in trying to work things out – counseling, (re)commitment ceremonies, and just going all out to talk it through. Others, not so much – they took the “easy” way out: infidelity #1 on their list. Just figure out what makes you happy…if that means being without that person, so be it. If you want to talk to a couple that’s been married for 60+yrs, lemme know – my great-aunt and uncle are my role models (plus it is sheer comedy)!

  3. dearest reginald cyntje, et al.
    i have the answers; you can too.

    please read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. by don Miguel Ruiz

    visit your local library or

    peace and love always, 😀 ana

  4. It’s wonderful that you are asking the hard questions and attempting to work on your marriage. I don’t believe love ever dies so whatever brought you two together will keep you two together. In the meantime, keep asking questions and in the quite moments of prayer and meditation all will be revealed.

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